Quotations of Wisdom

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Brian Kernighan

Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it. [Q1408]

Vince Lombardi

Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will be judged by only one thing-the result. [Q2062]

Elijah P. Lovejoy

But, gentlemen, as long as I am an American citizen, and as long as American blood runs in these veins, I shall hold myself at liberty to speak, to write, to publish whatever I please on any subject--being amenable to the laws of my country for the same. [Q2049]

Karl Menninger

The voice of the intelligence is drowned out by the roar of fear. It is ignored by the voice of desire. It is contradicted by the voice of shame. It is biased by hate and extinguished by anger. Most of all it is silenced by ignorance. [Q707]

Daniela Schiller

If you want to keep a memory as is, you carve it into a story. It’s not only keeping the content, it’s keeping the feeling alive. The best part is, you’re not the only one remembering it. [Q2040]

Marshall McLuhan

Madison Avenue is a very powerful aggression against private consciousness. A demand that you yield your private consciousness to public manipulation. [Q1464]

John Steinbeck

It has always seemed strange to me... the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second. [Q1369]

Václav Havel

I really do inhabit a system in which words are capable of shaking the entire structure of government, where words can prove mightier than ten military divisions. [Q1746]

Edwin Hubbel Chaplin

Through every rift of discovery some seeming anomaly drops out of the darkness, and falls, as a golden link into the great chain of order. [Q1738]

Nikola Tesla

The scientists from Franklin to Morse were clear thinkers and did not produce erroneous theories. The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane. [Q1675]

Alexander Fleming

When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn't plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world's first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I guess that was exactly what I did. [Q312]

Dennis Prager

Our scientific age demands that we provide definitions, measurements, and statistics in order to be taken seriously. Yet most of the important things in life cannot be precisely defined or measured. Can we define or measure love, beauty, friendship, or decency, for example? [Q453]

René Descartes

You just keep pushing. You just keep pushing. I made every mistake that could be made. But I just kept pushing. [Q1129]

Adlai Stevenson III

The air waves are in the public domain; but the government increasingly represents the private domain. [Q1859]

Thor Heyerdahl

Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity. [Q1539]

Simon and Garfunkel

And the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made. And the sign flashed out its warning in the words that it was forming. And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls. And tenement halls". And whispered in the sounds of silence. — The Sound of Silence. [Q576]

Amanda Palmer

Everyones got to stop thinking there's an answer. The answer is there's an infinite number of answers. — The Dresdon Dolls [Q301]

Master Kan

Each man has the right to choose his enemies and his friends. He may choose unwisely, but the decision is his alone, to make. Then he must live with the consequences. And so must his enemies, and his friends. — "Kung Fu" The Crossties 1974 Season 2 [Q629]

George Mobus

If we are such a clever species, why is the world the way it is, and heading in a bad direction? [Q1842]


We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another. [Q1567]

Edward Levi

The concept of reason itself appears as an artificial attempt to separate intellectual powers from the frustrations, emotions, and accidents which cause events; the concept of reason is viewed as facade to prevent change. [Q212]


If you desire to be good, begin by believing that you are wicked. [Q814]

Roger von Oech

Most people think of success and failure as opposites, but they both are products of the same process. [Q581]

Jeremy Bentham

As to the evil which results from a censorship, it is impossible to measure it, for it is impossible to tell where it ends. [Q435]


After this event there was contention for a long time between the upper classes and the populace. Not only was the constitution at this time oligarchical in every respect, but the poorer classes, men, women, and children, were the serfs of the rich. They were known as Pelatae and also as Hectemori, because they cultivated the lands of the rich at the rent thus indicated. The whole country was in the hands of a few persons, and if the tenants failed to pay their rent they were liable to be haled into slavery, and their children with them. All loans secured upon the debtor's person, a custom which prevailed until the time of Solon, who was the first to appear as the champion of the people. But the hardest and bitterest part of the constitution in the eyes of the masses was their state of serfdom. Not but what they were also discontented with every other feature of their lot; for, to speak generally, they had no part nor share in anything. — The Athenian Constitution — Section 1 Part 2 [Q1620]


Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well. [Q868]

Edward Sapir

A common allegiance to form of expression that is identified with no single national unit is likely to prove one of the most potent symbols of the freedom of the human spirit that the world has yet known. [Q2065]


When, therefore, we accomplish an act of reminiscence, we pass through a certain series of precursive movements, until we arrive at a movement on which the one we are in quest of is habitually consequent. Hence, too, it is that we hunt through the mental train, excogitating from the present or some other, and from similar or contrary or coadjacent. Through this process reminiscence takes place. For the movements are, in these cases, sometimes at the same time, sometimes parts of the same whole, so that the subsequent movement is already more than half accomplished. [Q1440]

James Bryce

Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. [Q2068]


Rest satisfied with doing well, and leave others to talk of you as they will. [Q926]

Benito Mussolini

Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. [Q1048]


If ye despise the human race, and mortal arms, yet remember that there is a God who is mindful of right and wrong. [Q1581]


Let not our proposal be disregarded on the score of our youth. [Q1583]

Herbert Simon

One finds limits by pushing them. [Q646]

Václav Havel

It's not hard to stand behind one's successes. But to accept responsibility for one's failures... that is devilishly hard! But only thence does the road lead... to a radically new insight into the mysterious gravity of my existence as an uncertain enterprise and to its transcendental meaning. [Q1763]


There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres. [Q927]

Mary McAleese

The extent to which all people in our society are made to count, and believe that they count, is not just a measure of decency; it makes sound economic sense. [Q456]

Jawaharlal Nehru

A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new; when an age ends; and when the soul of a nation long suppressed finds utterance. [Q991]

Thomas Paine

Suspicion is the companion of mean souls, and the bane of all good society. [Q272]

Dr. Zaius

I have always known about man. From the evidence, I believe his wisdom must walk hand and hand with his idiocy. His emotions must rule his brain. He must be a warlike creature who gives battle to everything around him, even himself. [Q1602]


I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better. [Q777]

Ward Cunningham

I wouldn't think to start a program from first principles. If I want to make a program, I want to find the people who know kind of how to do it, and say, come sit with me, come help me get started. Let's talk to each other. [Q220]

Scott Nesler

Ignorance is the act of ignoring the collateral damage of one's belief and an apathetic attempt to seek the truth. [Q549]

Murray Gell-Mann

Of course the word chaos is used in rather a vague sense by a lot of writers, but in physics it means a particular phenomenon, namely that in a nonlinear system the outcome is often indefinitely, arbitrarily sensitive to tiny changes in the initial condition. [Q980]

Mohandas Gandhi

Live simply so that others may simply live. [Q1311]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust. [Q1082]

M. Scott Peck

Share our similarities, celebrate our differences. [Q1202]

Hermann Hesse

Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin. [Q579]


Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance. [Q693]

Lily Tomlin

Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past. [Q1945]

Blaise Pascal

We sail within a vast sphere, ever drifting in uncertainty, driven from end to end. [Q592]

Franklin Roosevelt

Theirs were not the gods of things as they were, but of the gods of things as they ought to be. — Speaking of Thomas Jefferson. — Monticello - Studio 360 [Q1147]

Bob Marley

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. [Q639]

Thor Heyerdahl

Therefore, I feel convinced that any political picture can be changed to suit the needs of the powers that be. [Q1541]

Dante Alighieri

He listens well who takes notes. [Q1509]

Theodore C. Sorensen

We shall listen, not lecture; learn, not threaten. We will enhance our safety by earning the respect of others and showing respect for them. In short, our foreign policy will rest on the traditional American values of restraint and empathy, not on military might. [Q2021]

Jean-Luc Picard

Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well camouflaged. [Q170]

Kurt Gödel

The more I think about language, the more it amazes me that people ever understand each other at all. [Q1961]

Marshall McLuhan

It is the framework which changes with each new technology and not just the picture within the frame. [Q1463]

Walter Koenig

Religious tolerance is something we should all practice; however, there have been more persecution and atrocities committed in the name of religion and religious freedom than anything else. [Q1501]

Senator Paul Simon

If this American bloodshed in the defense of freedom of the press and the right of every American citizen to think, speak, and print his own honest opinions — be not signally vindicated, our representative institutions, our boasted freedom ... will become and deserves to become, the scoff and derision of the world. — The New York American (Op-Ed addressing the mob murder of Elijah Lovejoy) [Q1889]


Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant. [Q810]

Mark Twain

There are lies, damned lies and statistics. [Q365]

Václav Havel

A year ago, we all were united in the joy over having broken free of totalitarianism. Today we all are made somewhat nervous by the burden of freedom. Our society is still in a state of shock. This shock could have been expected, but none of us expected it to be so profound. The old system collapsed, and a new one so far has not been built. Our social life is marked by a subliminal uncertainty over what kind of system we are going to build, how to build it, and whether we are able to build it at all. [Q1795]

Charles Schulz

Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. [Q1640]

Margaret Mead

Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we've put it in an impossible situation. [Q954]

Master Kan

Ten million living things have as many worlds. Do not see yourself as the center of the universe, wise and good and beautiful. Seek, rather, wisdom, goodness, and beauty, that you may honor them everywhere. — Kung Fu Series 1972 — Episode # 9 [Q527]

Howard Zinn

If those in charge of our society - politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves. [Q385]

Scott Nesler

One person's truth is another's slander. [Q551]

Thomas Jefferson

Democrats consider the people as the safest depository of power in the last resort: they cherish them, therefore, and wish to leave in them all the powers to the exercise of which they are competent. [Q1851]

Oscar Romero

Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries. Peace is not the silent result of violent repression. Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all. Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity. It is right and it is duty. [Q574]

Clarence Darrow

Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt. [Q1102]


I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing. [Q761]

Margaret Mead

A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again. [Q1414]

Leah Ward Sears

We need to in this country begin again to raise civil discourse to another level. I mean, we shout and scream and yell and get very little accomplished, but you can disagree very much with the next guy and still be friends and acquaintances. [Q1380]

Konrad Lorenz

Every man gets a narrower and narrower field of knowledge in which he must be an expert in order to compete with other people. The specialist knows more and more about less and less and finally knows everything about nothing. [Q1430]

Master Kan

Deal with evil through strength - but affirm the good in man through trust. In this way we are prepared for evil, but we encourage good. [Q68]

John Boyd Orr

Though the general principles of statecraft have survived the rise and fall of empires, every increase in knowledge has brought about changes in the political, economic, and social structure. [Q1157]

Dante Alighieri

I love to doubt as well as know. [Q1510]


Courage consists not in hazarding without fear; but being resolutely minded in a just cause. [Q774]

Thomas Jefferson

Preach... a crusade against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating the common people. Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils [of monarchial government]. [Q540]

Ward Cunningham

One’s words are a gift to the community. For the wiki nature to take whole, you have to let go of your words. You have to be okay with that. This goes into the name, called refactoring. To collaborate on a work, one must trust. The reason the cooperation happens is we are people and it is deep in our nature to do things together. [Q1015]

Richard P. Feynman

The idea is to try to give all the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another. [Q736]

Louis Pasteur

Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Science is the highest personification of the nation because that nation will remain the first which carries the furthest the works of thought and intelligence. [Q1022]

Noam Chomsky

Education must provide the opportunities for self-fulfillment; it can at best provide a rich and challenging environment for the individual to explore, in his own way. [Q153]

Dalai Lama

Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. [Q691]

Adloph Hitler

What good fortune for governments that the people do not think. [Q41]

William Hazlitt

Man is the only creature that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they could be. [Q1873]

Oscar Wilde

The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read. [Q624]

Wendell Berry

In the effort to tell a whole story, to see it whole and clear, I have had to imagine more than I have known. [Q1339]


Every man makes a god of his own desire. [Q1576]

Bill Withers

I feel that it is healthier to look out at the world through a window than through a mirror. Otherwise, all you see is yourself and whatever is behind you. [Q1948]

John Lennon

There's nothing you can do that can't be done. Nothing you can sing that can't be sung. Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game. It's easy. All you need is love. [Q366]

Galileo Galilei

The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go. [Q941]

William Shakespeare

If music be the food of love, play on. [Q1613]

Theodore Roosevelt

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president... is morally treasonable to the American public. [Q1289]

Scott Nesler

A spelling mistake should not diminish a valid argument. [Q1252]

Winston Smith

A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. In principle, the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects. And its object is not victory over Eurasia or Eastasia, but to keep the very structure of society intact. — George Orwell's 1984 [Q297]

Benjamin Franklin

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing. [Q1880]

George Orwell

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past. 1984 [Q1230]

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